Wednesday, November 20, 2019

[ACKS] Lyonesse - Basic Math and Demographics

More work on my Lyonesse setting for ACKS. This time - basic math and demographics.

Below is the (very rough) political map, showing the Ducal-level domains:

So first, let's look at the basic domain alignments and sizes:

  • Royal Domain - Lawful - 20x 6-mile hexes. The King of Lyonesse rules this directly.
  • The Forest Duchy - Lawful - 82x 6-mile hexes. Vassal domain to the King of Lyonesse.
  • Treheim Duchy - Lawful - 112x 6-mile hexes. Vassal domain to the King of Lyonesse.
  • Ironguard Duchy - Lawful - 85x 6-mile hexes. Vassal domain to the King of Lyonesse.

Thus, the King's actual kingdom (Principality in ACKS terms but is sovereign and thus its head is a King) - 299x 6-mile hexes.

Now for Chaotic realms:

  • Tideborn Duchy - Chaotic - 19x 6-mile hexes in its current, reduced size (County in ACKS terms). Practically independent.
  • Swine Kingdom (Orc equivalent) - Chaotic - 67x 6-mile hexes. (Duchy in ACKS terms but is sovereign and thus its ruler is the Swine King)

Population density is relatively low due to the  recent Yellow Death epidemic; 40 people/square mile in Lawful lands, 250 families per 6-mile hex.

Population sizes:

  • Royal Domain - 5,000 families, comparable to a County.
  • The Forest Duchy - 20,500 families, appropriate for a lightly populated Duchy.
  • Treheim Duchy - 28,000 families, appropriate for a lightly populated Duchy.
  • Ironguard Duchy - 21,250 families, appropriate for a lightly populated Duchy.
  • The King of Lynoesse reigns over 74,750 families, which represent 373,750 subjects.
  • Tideborn Duchy - 4,750 families, appropriate for a lightly populated county. The ruler is Blood Duchess Isabella, a Chaotic sorceress who transformed herself into a Grand Vampire.
  • Swine Kingdom - a Chaotic domain per AXIOMS II. Population density is 125 Swine "families" per hex - a good population for beastmen, but Swine reproduce quickly. Total population 8,375 Swine "families". Note the Tribal warrior culture - this can field 8,375 Swine warriors at once if the Swine King calls a general muster!

As a side note, the Swine King uses the profits from raids on Civilization to arm and reinforce his forces. The Swine now have arquebusiers (this is an early-modern quasi-apocalyptic setting)! Their guns are crude matchlocks (humans have flintlocks) but they do strike fear into the hearts of their lizardmen opponents along the swamps and the Weald!

How big is Lyonesse?

  • 1x 6-mile hex = 32 square miles.
  • The landmass is about 700 or so 6-mile hexes.
  • So the whole area is approx. ~22,400 square miles.
  • About the size of Croatia or Togo! Or half of Greece or England.


  1. What sort of nautical technologies will be available? Stern post rudders? Compasses? Lateen or other sail types? Carvel or clinker built?

    Looking at that intriguing map makes me want to dispatch ship-borne adventure parties to the north of the island on all sorts of missions.

    1. I'll have to research the nautical technologies you mentioned, but anything available to mariners in our own world around 1600 AD should be available in this setting.

  2. 1600-ish? Excellent. Is there a Polaris equivalent in this world's night sky?

  3. Excellent. They'll be able to fix latitude easily while fixing longitude will still require time consuming astronomical observations/calculations or the use of magic. It works out nicely that the island runs north-south.

    I wonder if orcs can sail? The Weald and those mountains should have plenty of timber. The river-lake combinations north and south of their kingdom's official borders would be nice locations for shipyards and raider towns.

    As for Duchess Isabella, Dracula traveled by ship from Varna to England so the whole "crossing running water" thing has some sort of loophole. Lonely spots on the coast could be visited by seafarers from Tideborn looking for "cattle" to steal or just "snacks".

    1. Swine can definitely sail - and this is the King's greatest fear.

      Duchess Isabella herself probably doesn't travel, but, indeed, a gang of pirates working for her is a great idea (Thanks for this idea!).

  4. I suppose it's because I hike a lot that I always look at maps of this sort with an eye towards water-based transport. That kingdom should have quite a bit of coastal shipping traffic and not just between the named ports either. I don't know how big either river flowing through Saltporth or the river which approaches St. Marcus are, but there should be traffic of some sort on them. The lake west of Helix should have traffic on it too.

    Granted, the kingdom's population isn't even 400K and that only in the southern half of an island the size of Croatia but there should still be trade within and between the kingdom's various duchies. Such trade will be carried faster and cheaper by by ocean, lake, and river than by road.